SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 18-year-old transient who drove past a gate at Naval Medical Center San Diego in the Balboa Park area was injured when security personnel fired a shot at his charging dog, but missed, and the bullet instead grazed his ankle, authorities said on Tuesday.
The bizarre series of events happened around 8:45 p.m. Monday near the hospital’s main gate at Bob Wilson Drive off Florida Drive, according to Navy officials.
A man, later identified as Eric Durand of San Diego, was behind the wheel of a pickup truck that approached the gate, but did not stop when directed by a security officer. The security team then deployed barriers to prevent the driver from accessing the base, according to Navy Region Southwest spokesman Brian O’Rourke.
The driver made a U-turn and stopped his vehicle near the sentry point before getting out “in an agitated state” and yelling at the security officer, O’Rourke said.
When the man opened the door, his dog jumped out of the vehicle and ran toward security officers.
“A security officer fired one shot at the dog, which missed, grazing the civilian’s ankle,” O’Rourke said.
Durand was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries and San Diego Animal Control officers arrived to take custody of the dog, which was unharmed, O’Rourke said. Durand was released and cited for trespassing on federal property, and banned from Navy bases.
According to O’Rourke, Durand said he was attempting to visit the nearby San Diego Zoo, which was closed.
Department of Defense police officers and uniformed Navy personnel guard the gates to the medical center, but it was not immediately clear who fired the shot.